Richmond can win the flag, climate change is a thing, recreational cannabis should be legalised, dimmies are tasty. All pretty obvious. Today I’ll just talk about the first one, and perhaps some less obvious reasons behind why it is obvious. Dimmies don’t need reasoning, they just are.
Home Ground Advantage
With Chris Scott no longer whinging about it this week, we’ll mention the obvious reason that Richmond can win – they play the MCG bloody well. Their record at the home of footy is extraordinary, they have won 33 of their last 36 games at the ground and have not lost to interstate opposition there for two years. Oh and they’ve never lost to GWS there either.
The man pictured above, Marlion Pickett, is a shock selection for the Tigers. Pickett is a very, very good footballer – It beggars belief that a WA club didn’t take a chance on the man, after dominating in the WAFL for South Fremantle, but he is untried at the top level.
The Tigers are prepared to play this man for two reasons, one of them I have just mentioned – he is a supremely gifted footballer. The second reason is less obvious, and it is that Richmond rack up inside 50’s (ranked 3rd, also 3rd in goal assists) and are supremely confident in their system , using handball chains to eventually free up someone in space moving forward and ultimately, a goal. The added bonus for Richmond is that most teams when defending set up to defend a kick, the chain of handballs undermines this, and is one of the reasons Richmond are so hard to defend against, it simply goes against a defender’s instincts.
All that being said, GWS have shown that their back 6 is about as solid and resolute as a Nokia 3210, but with more features, and will surely be clued on to the tactic.
They’ve won 11 on the trot. People will say, “yeah, they’re due”. Football teams don’t think like that though – they will be supremely confident. It can’t be overstated, they will simply believe that they have the firepower, the structures and the cattle to get the job done, you simply do not win 11 games of AFL football without confidence.
Vice-like hands, athleticism, and an excellent foil in Riewoldt. This is a potential recipe for disaster for the Giants. One would assume he’ll be running into Phil Davis – who is an out and out star himself, but he comes in under an injury cloud and Lynch is RED-HOT (like fresh dimmies) right now, stopping him will not be easy.
Richmond, like GWS, have a very good defensive unit. On Saturday they will look to their elite team defence – to force the Giants to hack it long inside 50, giving Richmond’s interceptors and defence to structure up behind the ball and launch forays into their attacking half.
Who will take Norm home?
There will be a few players that will need to be at their best if the Tigers are to claim their second flag in three years. We think though that one player will feast off the hard work and will cap off his first year at Tigerland with a Norm Smith Medal. If Richmond win, we are predicting Tom Lynch will leave the MCG with two medals.